UFC lightweight Arman Tsarukyan has revealed that he’s been offered a fight against wrestling ace Gregor Gillespie for early 2022.
Tsarukyan took to Instagram to announce the potential matchup. After stating he’s accepted the bout, the Armenian-Russian called upon his fans to help convince Gillespie to follow suit.
“UFC has offered me a fight with Gillespie early next year. I said yes But Fisher hasn’t answered yet ! Guys help him make up his mind faster.”
Tsarukyan [17-2] was last in action at UFC Vegas 37 in September. Against the unranked Christos Giagos, the 25-year-old secured his first finish in the promotion, something matchmaker Sean Shelby had suggested he needed to do in order to progress to the next level. With a first-round TKO victory over “The Spartan,” Tsarukyan extended his win streak, which features unanimous decision wins over Matt Frevola, Davi Ramos, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, to four.
The Georgian-born lightweight’s only defeat in the UFC, and sole loss in his last 17 MMA fights, came against top-five contender Islam Makhachev in his 2019 debut. The Dagestani is set to face Tsarukyan’s recent foe Dan Hooker at UFC 267 this month. Given their back-and-forths on social media and in interviews, many had expected Hooker and Tsarukyan to meet next following their respective successes last month.
With the New Zealander’s willingness to fight Makhachev on short notice, Tsarukyan has had to look elsewhere for his next opponent. After showing his improved striking game last time out, the surging contender may need to rely on his grappling if his current targeted clash comes to fruition.
As well as Hooker, Tsarukyan also suggested he was happy to face former interim champ Tony Ferguson in December. Nevertheless, he appears to have jumped at the chance to fight #10-ranked Gillespie [14-1] in 2022 instead. “The Gift” returned to action after nearly two years away from the cage at UFC Vegas 26 in May. Against top-15 Brazilian Carlos Diego Ferreira in what was awarded the Fight of the Night honors, the 34-year-old found his way back to the win column with a second-round TKO.
In his prior bout, Gillespie fell to the first loss of his career in brutal fashion. Against Kevin Lee at UFC 244, the elite wrestler was knocked out by a vicious head kick. Before that, the New York-born lightweight had racked up an unblemished 13-0 record that included six UFC wins over Yancy Medeiros, Vinc Pichel, Jordan Rinaldi, Jason Gonzalez, Andrew Holbrook, and Glaico França.
Given that Gillespie sits three spots above Tsarukyan, and is currently occupying the final spot in the 155-pound top 10, it’s no surprise that the 25-year-old is keen to see the matchup finalized. A victory for either man would likely secure them a top name next time out.
Who do you think will have their hand raised if this fight comes to fruition, Arman Tsarukyan or Gregor Gillespie?